August 22, 2013 Subject:
I personally loved the half-hour drums
Have to disagree with the review below (disagree...not attack!):
1.) First off, I think the August shows aren't that good (I find Two From The Vault to be a really boring, sleepy, sub-par show, the only reason why it was released was probably because of all the work they had to do to rescue and reconstruct the tape) (see liner notes to Two From The Vault). (the night before was ok, nothing earth-shattering).
2.) Maybe they are dosed on this show? This is definitely a one-of-a-kind show, no question about it. Schoolgirl is definitely different, when it cuts in it's more like the middle of Alligator. I happen to like the feedback (which is very short) at the end of Schoolgirl which includes Pigpen (i think) doing a quick vocal impression of feedback. The banter that follows is really funny.
3.) Jerry laughing his way through the middle of St. Stephen is PRICELESS. To my ears, this one sounds WAY more together than the August shows. (and why shouldn't it? it's a month later!). I usually don't like flubbed lyrics, but Bobby starting the wrong verse and continuing it over Jerry is pretty funny. All in all, this St. Stephen shows progression.....and is distinctive and one-of-a-kind because of the crack-ups. Love hearing that.
4.) Yes, The Eleven is short, but it's good....and I am no Eleven fan!
5.) I think the drums section is great, hypnotic and riveting.....it's got a guest tabla player, so just that alone makes it distinctive. If you are predisposed to not like drums sections of shows (which I understand, they're not for everybody) (especially half-hour ones!), then I would definitely skip it. However if you like Drums and the Rhythm Devils, this is a good listen, this is no plodding,sloppy, Ginger Baker Toad-like drum tedium. This is interplay between four percussionists who are listening and contributing and playing.....they don't call it "playing" music for nothing, and this show shows the Dead at play.
(in my opinion, of course).
I couldn't believe the drums section was over so quickly, to me it didn't even feel like a half hour!
Not a show to end all shows, but a nice moment in time.
All in all, it sounds like to me they are having a BALL on this show. As opposed to the August shows which, to me, sound like they're tired and uninspired. (I'm not talking about the Avalon show, which is good, albeit echoey, or the early September show).
We’re treated to Pigpen harp and a long rap over drums; it’s not the usual Schoolgirl. The feedback after Schoolgirl doesn’t work, though.
St. Stephen sounds a lot like the version on Aoxomoxoa, which they had just started recording in the studio. It includes the strange vibrating guitar behind “several seasons,” which they hadn’t been previously playing (and which was soon dropped). There’s some joking around, with Jerry laughing during his vocal. Interesting, but not as good as the August shows.
The Eleven is good, but shorter than they had been playing at the time, and not with the same energy.
Drums is long – 25 minutes worth -- and not particularly interesting.
Check out the late August shows for complete, really hot shows of this period.
May 8, 2009 Subject:
The GRATEFUL DEAD "Live On Stage" September 20, 1968, at the Community Theatre, Berkeley, CA, U.S.A.
Super 68' Soundboard!
Classic 68' Sound.
Charlie Miller does it again. Very nice selection of songs from this show.
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Eat, Drink, Be Merry and Listen to the GRATEFUL DEAD.
Thanks for the LOVE from 1968.
January 16, 2008 Subject:
Spotty, then meaty
The lesson the dead have learned at this point: When the PA fails- DRUMS. The Schoolgirl is marred but has that early '68 energy, Stephen > 11 is very short and shall we say evaporated. The drums with two very talented special guests makes this show. It's long but has plenty of chemistry. The chant concludes and you can hear the count in for the next number, but...
ah- great mystery of life at last etc.
Sound is mostly top notch. Little hiss, heavy on the mickey trap. I can dance to it, Dick.